The Outdoor Wedding under the stars of Merwe & Janka in the Free State

We love the outdoors, especially if it’s great weather and a spectacular location.  It is with great excitement that we feature the wedding of Merwe & Janka.  This beautiful couple got married in the Free State in South-Africa.  They had a lovely outdoor wedding under the stars.  With only 30 guests at their wedding, each and every one of their guests could get equal attention and love.

Their wedding had a bohemian style to it mixed with some modern elements.  We love their venue space.  It was one long table outside with fairy lights hanging around the table.  In love!  The table decor was modern with blue and white elements and touches of colour in the floral designs.  Gold elements and black candles give the decor a luxury and glamourous feel.

Janka and Merwe decided to break away from all the usual wedding traditions and we love it.  We want to see more couples doing their own thing.  Little White Ribbon Photography took the most amazing photographs of this wedding.  It made us image ourselves at this beautiful wedding.  Warm weather, the sky filled with stars and great company. Enjoy their wedding below.

Engagement Story:

It was Easter weekend 2018, we were on the farm driving in the veld late afternoon. While we were driving I (Janka) saw an old fertilizer bag lying there so Merwe stopped and i got out to pick it up, When I pulled on the bag it was attached to a wire that went into the ground. Beneath the ground came out an old chest that Merwe buried there earlier the day. I was so intrigued with this treasure hunt that I didn’t even notice Merwe next to me getting on his knee. In the chest was a picnic startup with all my favourite things, champagne my favourite flowers and of course the little blue velvet box with the engagement ring.

The story behind the wedding dress:

Janka has a very bohemian style and dresses like that are difficult to find in South Africa so she decided to have her dress custom made.
Janka used a local dress designer Charissa Williams. They designed the dress together and Charissa made the most perfect wedding dress that any bride could ask for.

Musical Choices:

There was no first dance. We were the couple that decided to break all traditions on our wedding day. We did not have speeches, or cutting of the cake, bouquet throwing etc. It is just something that we as a couple find unnecessary. We did have a live band and a playlist that comprised of the modern country (Merwe’s choice) and indie folk (Janka’s choice).

The inspiration behind the decor:

Because we are completely different, we tried to reflect both our personalities in the decor. Merwe is a farmer, so all the neutral-toned flowers and furniture (like the Nguni skin carpets) is a reflection of him.

Janka is an artist. This is where the pop of colour came in. The exotic flowers, mismatched glasses, colourful scatter cushions. Our decor expert Ulrich got a perfect balance.

Wedding Colours:

Dry botanicals with a pop of colour. Because we live in the Free State we drew our inspiration from our neutral-toned nature. We have yellow veld as far as the eye can see, so we brought in the dry botanicals.


The owners of the venue are old family friends and we felt at home there. The rooms at the venue are beautiful and there were enough for all our guests.

Honeymoon Destination:


Favourite wedding memory:

Janka: My father passed away a few years ago, so my cousin gave me a locket with a photo of him that she tied to my bouquet. It was really special. When I received my wedding photos from Elaine I saw that she made the effort to take photos of that locket.

It was a warming surprise and I am so grateful.
Merwe: Definitely the moment saw Janka for the first time walking down the aisle, thinking ‘this is it’ and ‘it is her’.

Wedding Cake:

Janka and Merwe’s mother made the wedding cake together. It was very special for both of them. Baking is something they both enjoy and love.

Advice for couples planning their wedding:

Keep it small and intimate. We only had 30 guests. Our family and closest friends. These are the people that really want to enjoy the day with you and will still reminisce about the day after 20 years

Article Credits:

Photographer: Little White Ribbon Photography
Second shooter: Leon Wolmarans
Dress: Charissa Williams Bridal & Formal Wear
Make-up: Jean-Marie Professional Make-up artist
Hair: At Tease & Colour Hair Studio
Flowers & Decor: Grand Room Design
Lightning: Lighticle
Band: Shared Address
Stationary: Janka Roberts